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Android Material Design Components A Comprehensive Guide

By David Li on 2023-07-29T08:24:55.000Z

Android Material Design Components: A Comprehensive Guide

Material Design is a design language developed by Google in 2014. It aims to create a unified and consistent user experience across various platforms, devices, and input methods. Android Material Design Components (MDC) is a set of components and styles that help developers build Android applications in line with Material Design guidelines.

This article provides an overview of Android Material Design Components and demonstrates how to use them effectively in your Android applications.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to Material Design Components
  2. Setting Up Material Design Components
  3. Exploring Key Components
  4. Theming
  5. Conclusion

1. Introduction to Material Design Components

Material Design Components (MDC) is a library that provides developers with pre-built UI components that adhere to Material Design principles. These components are designed to be adaptive, responsive, and flexible, making it easier to create professional and visually appealing Android applications.

Some of the key advantages of using MDC in your Android applications include:

  • Consistent design: By using MDC, your app will automatically follow Material Design guidelines, ensuring a familiar and consistent user experience.
  • Faster development: MDC components are pre-built and easily customizable, saving you time during development.
  • Accessibility: MDC components are designed with accessibility in mind, making it easier for users with disabilities to interact with your app.

2. Setting Up Material Design Components

To start using Material Design Components in your Android project, follow these steps:

  1. Add the Material Components for Android library to your app’s build.gradle file:
dependencies {
    implementation 'com.google.android.material:material:1.4.0'
}
  1. In your AndroidManifest.xml file, set your app theme to inherit from a Material Components theme:
<application
    ...
    android:theme="@style/Theme.MaterialComponents.DayNight">
  1. Create a new style in res/values/styles.xml that extends a Material Components theme:
<style name="AppTheme" parent="Theme.MaterialComponents.DayNight">
    <!-- Customize your theme here. -->
</style>

3. Exploring Key Components

Buttons

MDC provides several types of buttons, including:

  • Text Button: A button with text and no background.
  • Outlined Button: A button with text and a border.
  • Contained Button: A button with text, a background, and an elevation.
<!-- Text Button -->
<Button
    android:id="@+id/text_button"
    style="@style/Widget.MaterialComponents.Button.TextButton"
    android:layout_width="wrap_content"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content"
    android:text="Text Button" />

<!-- Outlined Button -->
<Button
    android:id="@+id/outlined_button"
    style="@style/Widget.MaterialComponents.Button.OutlinedButton"
    android:layout_width="wrap_content"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content"
    android:text="Outlined Button" />

<!-- Contained Button -->
<Button
    android:id="@+id/contained_button"
    style="@style/Widget.MaterialComponents.Button"
    android:layout_width="wrap_content"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content"
    android:text="Contained Button" />

Text Fields

MDC provides a variety of text field styles, including filled and outlined text fields.

<!-- Filled Text Field -->
<com.google.android.material.textfield.TextInputLayout
    android:id="@+id/filled_text_field"
    style="@style/Widget.MaterialComponents.TextInputLayout.FilledBox"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content">

    <com.google.android.material.textfield.TextInputEditText
        android:layout_width="match_parent"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:hint="Filled Text Field" />
</com.google.android.material.textfield.TextInputLayout>

<!-- Outlined Text Field -->
<com.google.android.material.textfield.TextInputLayout
    android:id="@+id/outlined_text_field"
    style="@style/Widget.MaterialComponents.TextInputLayout.OutlinedBox"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content">

    <com.google.android.material.textfield.TextInputEditText
        android:layout_width="match_parent"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:hint="OutlinedText Field" />
</com.google.android.material.textfield.TextInputLayout>

Cards

Cards are a versatile component that can be used to display content and actions related to a single subject. MDC provides a MaterialCardView component that extends the default CardView.

<com.google.android.material.card.MaterialCardView
    android:id="@+id/material_card"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content"
    app:cardElevation="4dp"
    app:cardCornerRadius="8dp">

    <!-- Card content goes here -->
</com.google.android.material.card.MaterialCardView>

App Bars

App bars provide a dedicated space for app branding, navigation, and actions. MDC provides a Toolbar component that can be customized with Material Design styles.

<com.google.android.material.appbar.AppBarLayout
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content">

    <androidx.appcompat.widget.Toolbar
        android:id="@+id/toolbar"
        android:layout_width="match_parent"
        android:layout_height="?attr/actionBarSize"
        app:title="App Title" />

</com.google.android.material.appbar.AppBarLayout>

MDC provides several components for implementing navigation within your app, including Bottom Navigation, Navigation Drawer, and Tabs.

  • Bottom Navigation: A bar with icons and text labels for switching between different views in an app.
<com.google.android.material.bottomnavigation.BottomNavigationView
    android:id="@+id/bottom_navigation"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content"
    app:menu="@menu/bottom_navigation_menu" />
  • Navigation Drawer: A panel that slides in from the left or right edge of the screen, typically used for navigation.
<androidx.drawerlayout.widget.DrawerLayout
    android:id="@+id/drawer_layout"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent">

    <!-- Main content goes here -->

    <com.google.android.material.navigation.NavigationView
        android:id="@+id/navigation_view"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="match_parent"
        android:layout_gravity="start"
        app:menu="@menu/navigation_drawer_menu" />

</androidx.drawerlayout.widget.DrawerLayout>
  • Tabs: A set of horizontally-scrollable tabs for organizing content at a high level.
<com.google.android.material.tabs.TabLayout
    android:id="@+id/tab_layout"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content">

    <com.google.android.material.tabs.TabItem
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:text="Tab 1" />

    <com.google.android.material.tabs.TabItem
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:text="Tab 2" />

</com.google.android.material.tabs.TabLayout>

Snackbars

Snackbars provide lightweight feedback about an operation in the form of a brief message at the bottom of the screen.

Snackbar.make(view, "Snackbar message", Snackbar.LENGTH_SHORT).show();

4. Theming

MDC supports powerful theming capabilities that allow you to easily customize the look and feel of your app. You can define a custom theme by extending a Material Components theme and overriding the desired attributes.

<style name="AppTheme" parent="Theme.MaterialComponents.DayNight">
    <!-- Primary color -->
    <item name="colorPrimary">@color/colorPrimary</item>
    <!-- Primary dark color -->
    <item name="colorPrimaryDark">@color/colorPrimaryDark</item>
    <!-- Accent color -->
    <item name="colorAccent">@color/colorAccent</item>
    <!-- Default button background color -->
    <item name="materialButtonStyle">@style/MyButtonStyle</item>
</style>

<style name="MyButtonStyle" parent="Widget.MaterialComponents.Button">
    <item name="backgroundTint">@color/buttonBackground</item>
    <item name="android:textColor">@color/buttonText</item>
</style>

5. Conclusion

Android Material Design Components provide a powerful and flexible set of pre-built UI components that adhere to Material Design guidelines. By using MDC in your Android applications, you can create consistent, visually appealing, and accessible user experiences with ease. In this article, we’ve explored key MDC components and their usage, as well as theming capabilities that enable you to customize your app’s look and

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